22.12.17

R.D. Laing on Music



Adrian Laing's book about his father is interesting and useful, but at the end of the day a bit of a hatchet job. If you want to get in touch with Laing as he really was this YouTube video is pretty much indispensable. It cuts away a lot of the bullshit and reveals Ronnie plainly as a highly intelligent, empathetic individual.

Yes, if you read "R.D. Laing - A Life" he does come across as a shit parent, a really, really shit parent - but even that doesn't negate him as an individual. Some people aren't cut out for parenthood, it's worse than a shame, it's often a disgrace, but it still doesn't necessarily make them bad people. Of course, some bad parents ARE bad people too...

If there's a highlight here it has to be Laing talking about music. Click above to play the relevant section which I've cued up. It's one of those great, insightful cultural moments in my opinion.  I talked the other day about "the window in the sky" - Laing prefers "a connection with the heart of humanity" - but yes, that's precisely why the woeful among us gravitated to music.